Thursday, August 28, 2014


Everyone needs a holiday... And while some of my work colleges and friends will take a couple of weeks off and sit at home doing nothing, that's not me! Others will take a couple of weeks off and hit some DIY project, that's not me... Then there are the poor folk with children, they take leave in school holidays to look after there kids, that's not me...

This is one of the reasons my wife and I get on so well, when it comes to holiday time we like to "take a holiday"! Now with a little money saved and my wife having a birthday this year. (You guys must know by now that ladies don't have birthdays every year and that is way they always look so young!)

So how does all this happen:
  • We decide it's time for a holiday, 2014 will be the year... (don't have money for yearly holidays, feel free to sponsor my next holiday if you have some free cash!)
  • Where do we go, France would be nice, from Dawn's English years she still has a couple of friends on the Mud Island with holiday places over the Channel... OK that's not working :(
  • What about Switzerland? I have a best friend from school now staying there... Kids, work (new job) means more date planning to tie in with them. An idea but what else... (Next time even if I have to go alone!)
  • Then some-one said: What about Croatia, I hear it's nice...
  • With month ends and dog sitters to think about mid Septemberare the dates we are looking at...
  • With Dawn not only being my wife but our travel coordinator she starts to look for flights and places to see...
Now from the moment she said: How does Croatia sound, I popped onto Google and asked him a very important question: Marathon Croatia? Answer, Ston-Wall Marathon  21 September 2014... Prefect date, and only 55km from a must see, Dubrovnik! What the ball now rolling I again went to talk to Mr Google again and this is what he told me:

Coach Dion, there is a 41km trail race in the Učka National park the week before that marathon in Ston, and you are already going to be in the country... How about turning this holiday into a little road trip...

Road Trip it is:

  • Land at the Capital Zagreb and drive to the coast.
  • Run the trail race, all 41km and 2350m climb!!!

Picture from last years race

Where the Race Starts and the mountain I will be running up...
  •  Head down the coast popping inland to see another National park!
Plitvice Lakes
  •  Back to the coast and down to Dubrovnik.

  •  55km up the coast to run the Ston Wall Marathon!
Looks more like a trail race...
  •  Before we fly out of Dubrovnik!
Time to pack my bags...

Monday, August 25, 2014


I grew up in Newlands at the foot of the mountain and as far back as '83 you could find me running in the forest. My first run to the top of the mountain was in '88... Now-a-days you can find me up there most weekends! So when I first heard of the Ultra Trail Cape Town my ears pricked up... sounds like fun!  

Cape Town and surrounds are blessed with a couple of the countries best and oldest trail races, and with this in mind the organisers of the UTCT thought they would capture the world market with a 100km. I hope they do, it would be great to have the best of the best taking on Table Mountain.

What utra trail runner wouldn't want to run / race on my iconic Mountain!!!  
Come run
A lot of my friends have asked if I'm running... First answer is: No are you mad 100km is a long way! But now a couple of months later I'm starting to sing a new tune... the 100km is still madness and I have mad friends who will be on the start line..  But I can get my head around the 62km. That's just a long mountain marathon,  a really long marathon!!!

So were does that leave me? I will be on the mountain that day, but will I be wearing a race number or a camera? 

I can't make the call just yet 62km is still a long way and I didn't know if my body is up for it.  
I'm also away for a couple of weeks in September (that's another story on it's own.)
Special place...
I had a little look at the route 'they' have put together and you will get to run on some of the best trails the mountain has to offer, but without making us run round is circles you are going to have to join me for a run to experience the others...
If I'm on the start-line I hope to see you there, if I don't make the start-line, I hope you do... I'll be on thee mountain with my camera...

Friday, August 15, 2014

100 000 km

I've always run...

 From the age of 3 or something I was saying: Mommy, Mommy time me, I'm running around the house!!! and off I would go - out the kitchen door and through the gate onto the street, up the road and over the little picket fence. Round the back of the house jumping over flower beds and cats (trail runner in the making). Leaving dirty hand marks on the walls as I turned the corners. Under the loquat tree and back to the kitchen! I'm Back, I'm Back what time did I do? Again, again, I'm going round twice...

At Junior School I did athletics, rugby and cross country... But it wasn't till High School, standard 8, that my then coach (and Science teacher) Norman Davies said I should keep a log book!!!

Oh Dear...

My first logged run; Jan 2 1986 and already running to UCT
28 years later...
No they aren't all there, some are lying around at home and not with these... It's fun looking back at the types of sessions you did years ago! While some have changed, some haven't: There is one in that book from 1986 (note I was at school, std 8) and it reads: 15 x 400m 68-75.6sec at UCT!!! it could have been 2 weeks ago when we did the very same session!!!

My biggest week ever? Well that would be the week of 15-20 Oct 2007 and The Cape Odyssey a 5 day trail race of 211km. Now I don't really look at that as a weeks training, so then it would have to been 18-24 Dec 1995 and a week of 166km. I know there are big mile runners out there, but really... looking at that week, and other weeks I've had up at 160+ I can't see how running more would fit into your training with going over the top...

1995 was my biggest year at 5163.6km I was trying for those extra 36.4km to take me to 5200km but... the body wasn't up to it!!! Did all the miles that year work? Well yes, but it was only when I was running less in 1996 did the results come and I ran PB's over every distance 10km - 42.2km!

What next? I hope to put in another 100 000km before I have to hung up my shoes!

Thursday, August 14, 2014


The other day a friend (who is also injured) asked how I could keep running even with an injury, so this is my answer:

  • It really depends on what injury you have...
  • PAIN learn to know what pain is injury related...
  • Warm up your injury before you start..
OK so with those things in mind legs have a look at a couple of injuries that I've had and how I've managed them: I've had ITB and a couple of my athletes have had ITB, and yes you could pop off to the physio for treatment and rehab, but why stop running? You don't have to, but Coach my knee gets sore after 5km and I can hardly walk!!! So only go out for a 4km run then... and run twice a day if you need more running, I once ran an 8km race with my leg straight (maybe not a good idea) but it was sore if I bent the knee!)

Now onto this injury I currently have: Adductor Tendonosis!

Please note I have spoken to the Sports Doctor, the Physio, and the Bio, so I do have the green light to do this, but I was doing this before I saw any of them just don't tell anyone!

Firstly warm-up the injury, and not by running, and not by stretching, stretching is really just pulling the injury and how can that help... So get the blood flowing, maybe you could walk a bit or rub the injury, I use this before most of my runs:
good stuff

and then I also an running in compression tights to help the blood flow!

Now with a lot of injuries it's a muscles or tendon (some with some bones / stress fractures) so you can normally feel if you are doing more damage. OK I can run without pain... so I run without pain, the problem is I have to run slowly and I don't like running slowly. I like to be on a track running reps, or intervals on the road. You see, too run fast you need to lengthen your stride, and that stretches (puts strain on) the tendon. So I only run slowly, I've been running hills on the road, I can run slowly and hills are slow and good for you!

The other thing I can't really do is long single track and technical downs. Both require core and stabilising and as things stand I don't have much of that!!! so I tire and the tendons start to fall apart again.

Would you believe it if I told you I have hardly been on my mountian in 3 months!!! (we won't count the couple of races I had to run!!!)

Good Luck in managing your injuries as it looks like mine is slowly coming right!